Housing Forum remains positive about survey's success, despite few improvements on 2000 ratings.
Top housebuilders Barratt Homes, Charles Church and Tay Homes were among the worst performers in the second national customer satisfaction survey, it was announced yesterday at the Housing Forum's annual conference.

The trio failed to improve on their performance in 2000, and were again given below-average ratings for overall satisfaction by their homeowners in the Housing Forum survey. Barratt and Charles Church hit rock bottom by scoring one star in each of the survey's seven categories – again a repeat of the 2000 survey.

Two other firms – Wilcon Homes and Fairview – fared little better. Wilcon slipped from an average rating last time to a one-star overall performance this year. Last week, Wilcon announced a restructuring programme after issuing a profit warning (see page 22). Fairview was deemed below-average in six categories; in 2000, it received the thumbs-up in four areas.

Redrow Homes continued to be one of the star performers, although it achieved full marks in only five of the seven categories, in contrast to a clean sweep of three stars in 2000. Regional housebuilders Croudace, Bloor Homes and Jelson were among the best, each achieving three stars for every category in the survey.

Despite there being little difference to the 2000 survey conclusions, the Housing Forum, which jointly sponsored the report with the DTI, was upbeat about the results. Housing Forum chief executive David Crewe said: "Buyers remain very satisfied with the quality of the internal design and layout of their new home, its external design and appearance, and security measures."

Crewe added that the next survey is likely to show more impressive results. He said: "Housebuilders have put in place changes as a result of the 2000 survey, but the impact of these has not yet been felt."

Buyers remain very satisfied with the quality of their new homes … the impact of the 2000 survey results has not yet been felt

David Crewe, chief executive, Housing Forum

Although most housebuilders showed little change, Beazer Group was on the up. Last time around, its results were disappointing, with only one rating of average or above; this year it achieved two stars in four categories.

The survey showed that 87% of people who have bought a newly built home in the last year were satisfied. Homeowners in the north-east and east of England were particularly content, and Londoners were the most unhappy with their homes, and also the least likely to recommend their housebuilders.

In total, 49% of the 10,015 people interviewed said they would recommend their housebuilders, although only 43% of Londoners and 46% of Scottish people agreed.

Of the 54 companies included in the survey, 19 firms did not get enough responses to achieve a statistical confidence level of 95% or more in assessing overall customer satisfaction. Seven of those 19, including MJ Gleeson and Tulloch Homes, got above-average ratings.

Survey in brief

  • 12 firms were below the industry average (one more than in 2000)
  • Only six firms got three stars in all seven categories (same as 2000)
  • 49% would recommend their housebuilder (down from 52% in 2000)
  • 87% of new homeowners are satisfied with their homes (same as 2000)
  • 82% of new homeowners said they got value for money (down 1% on 2000)

Related files/tables